IT Support is big business. Globally, it costs businesses and individuals over US $150 billion. That's why it's always nice when you can do it yourself.
If you're having Internet connection problems, chances are it's an easy fix. You could be up and running fast instead of wasting your talk minutes on the phone with a representative.
We'll walk you through 9 of the most common problems and their solutions. Most are easier than you think.
Let's take a look!
According to the scientific principle commonly called "Occam's Razor", the simplest answer is most likely the solution. Always rule the simple stuff out first when you have Internet connection problems.
These are often the most embarrassing. They're so obvious to someone you ask for help. They leave you blushing and beating yourself up.
You shouldn't. This stuff happens to even the brainiest techs. Start asking the probing questions.
Is the modem unplugged? Is the wire loose or fraying? Did you accidentally turn off your wi-fi or mobile data?
Did you forget to pay the Internet bill?
These are super-simple to fix. Plug it in. Get a new cable. Turn on the Internet. Or go pay your bill.
Sometimes it's just a website that's down. You may be getting messages that your Internet isn't working. In these cases, the messages are just wrong.
Always visit another website before assuming your Internet isn't working. It can save you a lot of time trying to fix Internet connection problems that don't really exist.
Sometimes DNS settings or IP address change, even after you set up your internet. Often times people have internet at their home but for some reason have an internal conflit getting out to the world wide web, like a missing gateway in your internet settings. You can test your getting to the outside world with this trick.
On a PC, go to the start menu. Pull up command prompt. When the prompt comes up, enter some really reliable site like Google.com. Type: Ping Google.com
Hit enter. Wait. Your computer will try to reach Google through the Internet. They do this by sending and receiving something called "packets".
If the results show that you have packets lost or the results take a long time to display, you've got Internet connection problems.
On a Mac, open Network Utilities and then Ping. You'll see similar results just in a slightly different format.
Only one device can be on one IP address at any time. If two are in competition, you'll have Internet connection problems.
This can happen two primary ways.
You may have a dynamic IP address. This usually happens when your Internet service provider (ISP) randomly reassigns customers a new IP address rather than giving them permanent ones.
There could be some kind of conflict.
Or you may have a static IP address that doesn't change. You, or someone else, may have given this number to another device.
The settings will tell you if the IP is static or dynamic.
If it's dynamic, release and renew your IP address in settings to get a new random number.
If it's static, change the IP address to a new number by changing just the last 3 numbers.
Your modem or router will have indicator lights that tell you if it's receiving and sending. More advanced ones might have extra indicators that determine how strong the signal is.
If these indicators lights are blinking or out, you don't have a solid connection.
Unplug your modem. Leave it off for 3-5 minutes. Plug it back in. Give in 3-5 minutes to come back online.
Sometimes things just need a reboot.
You may also have a reset button. If the reboot doesn't work then pressing it will return the unit to factory settings.
If this happens frequently, call your ISP.
We all want our Wi-Fi to spread effortlessly through the house. Sometimes, though, this isn't possible.
Your signal may get weak if you're sitting under a tree in the backyard watching Netflix.
Or you may live in a sprawling ranch-style house. You may have a finished basement that just can't get a strong signal.
Sometimes, there's a certain room that inexplicably can't get a signal.
Check your wi-fi indicator on your device. Does it have 1-2 bars out of 4? It's struggling.
Internet connection problems like these can generally only be fixed by purchasing some hardware. A wi-fi extender or wi-fi booster can work with any router. It gives your signal that extra oomph to break through those invisible barriers.
You'll find other helpful advice in our article: How to Improve Your Rural Internet Connection
You could be infected by malware. Viruses are nearly impossible to avoid these days. Even if you have a protector or firewall, something may have gotten through.
Or your device just may be too old to connect to the Internet. It may be time to accept its fate and move one.
Run a scan for viruses, spyware and malware. Use tools to quarantine or remove the infection.
If you've had your modem or router for 10 years or so, they may just no longer support the demands of modern technology.
If it's a rental, then contact the company to see if newer models might perform better.
If you bought it, it may be time to spring for a new one.
We've conditioned ourselves to want everything fast. We don't think we should have to wait for pages to load. Streaming shouldn't be interrupted with load symbols.
Your ISP may have faster Internet options. Check them out.
Often when you have Internet connection problems the simplest solution is the right one. There are several ways you can troubleshoot your connection. Check to see if the problem is location specific. Scan for viruses. Reboot your router or modem.
Are you looking for faster, more reliable rural Internet? Contact us today.